Kirb Paves the Way for Niche Sharing Economy Apps

September 1, 2016 - 3 minutes read

The sharing economy is a busy place these days. There’s an app for “sharing” everything from boats to pets to rental cars. And while tech media outlets might suggest that the trend is dead, new services keep coming out and proving them wrong.

One of those sharing economy startup success stories is Kirb, a parking on demand app our studio recently released to the Apple App Store in partnership with a local startup. Kirb aims to tackle a problem as ubiquitous as it is unnecessary: circling the block looking for parking.

With Kirb, users on the vendor end list parking spaces they own (whether a home driveway, designated work lot or whatever the case may be) for short-term visitors to rent when public parking is full or inconvenient. Spot owners make passive income from empty property — users save money on expensive garage fees. The Los Angeles iPhone app developers behind the app keep a small percentage of each transaction, like any other sharing economy app.

The question app developers are asking is: how is Kirb managing to take off so quickly in a city like Los Angeles that’s already so saturated with tech startups? The answer isn’t the idea — after all, the concept of “sharing parking” has been tried many times before, with varying levels of success.

Instead, the factor that sets Kirb apart is the design and experience quality of the app. Former attempts at this market have failed because the need for parking seemed so obvious that they rushed to market with poorly-designed apps, figuring users would put up with the glitchy experience. (You know, the way everyone puts up with craigslist.) Cloned map interfaces are notoriously buggy on native, and users can instantly tell when they’re looking at the real thing… and when they’re looking at a cheap knockoff.

Solving that problem took months of hard work from a dedicated app development team, but it ultimately paid off. (The web version even won a CSS Design Award in the process, a promising indicator that things are on the right track.)

You can download Kirb on the app store here. For a limited time, use the promo code FREESUMMER16 to get free parking when you add your first space.